ARENA FOOTBALL Chicago Rush sets tryout camp here

Owner Alan Levin hopes to eventually bring a franchise to Youngstown.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Alan Levin's plan to bring Arena Football to Youngstown is contingent upon the most integral factor of the sport's existence.
Having an arena in which to play.
Until one is built -- if ever -- Levin will have to settle for the next best thing: A free-agent tryout camp for the Arena Football League's Chicago Rush, of which he is part owner, in Youngstown.
At Stambaugh: Stambaugh Stadium will host the camp Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon.
"We already have a presence in the area," said Levin, managing general partner of Palisades Baseball, which owns the Niles-based Mahoning Valley Scrappers minor league team.
"And Youngstown is a major football location," he said. "We want to give the community more of an understanding of what we're about."
The Rush coaching staff, including head coach and director of football operations Mike Hohensee, will be searching for that "diamond in the rough," general manager Mike Polisky said.
"Some of the top Division I players, for one reason or another, don't get an agent or they have a bad [NFL] combine. They're basically on their own," Polisky said. "We like searching around for them."
Whether any are discovered hinges on the staff's observation after "an intense couple of hours," Polisky said, when coaches run players through a series of tests.
"If we could find that one gem at a local tryout, that'd be great," Levin said.
Players selected from the tryout are invited to attend the team's 2002 training camp.
"We just had 100-and-some players at a camp in Chicago," Polisky said. "One or two were invited to the minicamp."
Other camps: Following the Rush's stop in Youngstown, they will hold additional tryouts in Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles.
"Our head coach and staff wanted to go [to Youngstown]," Polisky said. "Certainly, that's a good area for football talent in the country. We also have a relationship with the Mahoning Valley [Scrappers]. They were able to help us."
The Rush completed their first season in the AFL with a 7-7 record and a playoff berth.
Although the AFL's visit to Youngstown is temporary this week, Levin hopes there will be a permanent home for the sport here in the future.
"Look how they support minor league baseball," he said of the Mahoning Valley. "I see no reason for them not to participate [in Arena Football] at the same level."
If Mahoning Valley residents ever get that chance.
All players interested in the fall tryout must register in advance by calling the Chicago Rush office at (773) 243-3434. There is a $50 registration fee.